Growing up amidst the suburban landscapes of Seal Beach, Southern California, I embodied the essence of city life. My childhood was a mixture of occasional outdoor adventures, donning a coonskin cap, and embracing vacation activities that showcased the splendor of nature. Despite the allure, the outdoors remained an episodic diversion rather than an integral part of my identity. As an adult, my career in advertising had given me three-piece suits, a fast convertible and some serious income, but it left me with a sense of emptiness and burnout. My journey took a transformational turn when I made an almost accidental decision to challenge the course I was traveling. After discovering a passion for firearms and shooting sports during a bachelor party at a Las Vegas gun range, I embarked on a unique and unexpected path of self-discovery.
As the tides shifted further and further towards the unexpected, I found myself deeply drawn to the pursuits that once seemed alien to me. Armed with a compound bow and a yearning for authenticity, I set out on a journey that would redefine my life. From off-roading in my Jeep and embracing the quietude of long weekends camping to line dancing at country nights and taking afternoon horseback rides, I delved deeply, exploring a lifestyle that resonated with my soul. The birth of Living Country in the City marked the next chapter of my evolution. Sharing my adventures and missteps, I aimed to inspire others to step beyond their comfort zones, cast aside apprehensions, and embark on their own unique odyssey. With the evolution into The Wild Initiative podcast, my narrative expanded to encompass the stories of remarkable individuals who, like me, dared to escape the ordinary and nurture their aspirations.
Without the privilege or benefit of generational knowledge, I approach every endeavor with a fresh perspective. My journey has taught me that progress stems from pushing the boundaries of what is familiar, and growth flourishes when we challenge ourselves to constantly improve. I’ve come to realize that life is a tapestry woven from experiences, both triumphant and challenging and that the key to fulfillment lies in embracing the unknown and venturing into the uncharted. Transitioning from the vibrant, bustling landscapes of Southern California to the untamed wilderness of Montana, my journey mirrors the evolution of The Wild Initiative itself – an ongoing quest to inspire individuals to forge their own paths. I am a homesteader, hunter, angler, bladesmith, and so much more, not by birth but by trial and experience. Through shared experiences, insights, and an unwavering commitment to embracing challenges, I invite you to join me in the pursuit of a life less ordinary.
“There’s a fine line between being practical and being a candyass, which is a word that my father used to describe someone whom he considered to be the opposite of tough. … Because I’m very afraid of becoming a candyass, I’ll sometimes do things that I know to be impractical just so I don’t have to worry about being a candyass.”// Steven Rinella